ESPORTS has been named as an official medal sport in the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.
“I hope that electronic sports will add value to the Asian Games – and I am sure it will in the future, during the Asian Games 2022 and even beyond that,” said Haider Farman, Asian Games Director of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), after the sport’s inclusion was ratified in the 39th OCA General Assembly in Muscat, Oman.
Esports was previously an exhibition event in the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia.
“The OCA has pioneered the development and inclusion of e-sports in international multi-sport games, and recognised its broad appeal to a younger generation in a changing sports world,” said the OCA in a statement.
Breaking — or as it’s more commonly known, breakdancing — will also make its Asian Games debut in 2022, or two years before its official Olympics entry in the Paris games.
In an open letter published earlier this year called “Olympism and Corona”, the International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach wrote: “We encourage all our stakeholders to ‘consider how to govern electronic and virtual forms of their sport and explore opportunities with game publishers.’”
However, just this October, the IOC refused to recognize any global governing body for the sport.
The 19th Asian Games will run from September 10 to 25, 2022, and will feature 40 sports, 61 disciplines, and 482 events.